If it seems like you can’t turn on the news without seeing something awful, you aren’t alone. Most news outlets, are businesses after all, which means that they count on ratings to succeed. Unfortunately, it seems that bad news garners more ratings for these organizations, because when people see horror stories in the news, they tend to become afraid, and fear only leads to more consumption.
Bad things really do happen in the world. If you are like Jason Aldean, the country singer who was onstage during the recent Las Vegas attack, you might think that the world has gotten worse. However, history disagrees. Violence has always been part of the human condition. It’s only our access to deadlier weapons that has increased.
Be that as it may, it can be hard to find a balance in these scary times between self-care and being an informed citizen. Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track:
Limit Your Media Exposure Directly After An Attack
As outlined in WNYC’s Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, media outlets often get wrong information directly after an attack. Reporters are on deadline to get something out to the public and they often piece information together incorrectly at first. Don’t get caught up in this roller-coaster. Limit checking your devices to once or twice a day at most.
Pay Attention To The Difference Between What You See Online Vs. Your Environment
It’s very easy for people to sit behind a computer screen and make outrageous comments online, and, believe it or not, this is one way that people grieve. Make sure to balance your time online with time spent with real people, who, will undoubtedly offer a better perspective. Plus, as said above, you aren’t supposed to be online all day!
Keep Doing The Things That Make You Feel Sane
Everyone has at least 2 or 3 things that they can do to make them feel like themselves again. Whether it is working out, prayer, meditation, cooking, spending time in nature, or rereading “Harry Potter,” find your things, and do them. You may not feel 100% better, but, we bet you’ll at least feel more grounded.
Realize That You Don’t Have To Know Everything In Real Time
Remember life before facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Maybe, you are even old enough to remember life (gasp), before cell-phones! It may be hard to imagine now, but, we survived without knowing everything the second that it happened. While the news may want you to feel the need to stay tuned in all day for “your safety,” it’s important to tune out for your sanity.
Hold Your Loved Ones, Including Your Inner-Self, A Little Closer
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.,